The 10 best states to find a job right now, according to new research

Is now still a good time to find a job?

The answer might depend on where you live.

Despite amplified recession fears and headlines of mass layoffs at tech companies, overall layoffs in the job market remain historically low — and there are 1.7 job openings for every unemployed person, according to the latest Labor Department data.

In some states, however, jobs are more plentiful and the unemployment rate is much lower than others, offering residents a better chance at landing a secure, high-paying role, according to WalletHub’s 2022 Best and Worst States for Jobs report.

To determine the best states for employment, WalletHub ranked all 50 states based on 35 metrics including job opportunities, unemployment rate, median annual income, average commute time and residents’ self-reported job satisfaction.

Here are the 10 states where you have the best chance of landing a job right now:

  1. Washington
  2. Vermont
  3. New Hampshire
  4. Colorado
  5. Minnesota
  6. Rhode Island
  7. Massachusetts
  8. Virginia
  9. Connecticut
  10. New Jersey

Washington, with an unemployment rate of 3.8% and a labor participation rate of 64.8%, claims the top spot. The state’s top industries include technology, construction, real estate and manufacturing, according to data from the US Department of Commerce.

Other states in the top five, including New Hampshire and Vermont, ranked high for having ample job opportunities, steady employment growth, low unemployment rates and shorter workweeks.

New York and California scored lower on the list — ranking 19th and 11th, respectively — mainly because WalletHub determined that job opportunities were moderately hard to come by in these states, income taxes are high and commute times are long.

The worst three states to find a job right now are Mississippi, Kentucky and West Virginia, according to the report, which found that these states have fewer job opportunities and lower starting salaries than other states.

As for what the broader national job market will look like in 2023, Joyce Jacobsen, an economics professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, predicts that some industries will see continued growth while others will suffer in the face of an economic downturn.

“Short of a significant recession, we will likely see continued employment growth in some areas, such as health care and technology, although there could be some downturn in tech,” she notes in the report, adding that we might see “continued instability.” in the food services sector as restaurants “struggle to find the right balance with continuing employment shortages and rising food costs.”

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